A Passion For Hard Work Produces Results


Eddie Woods Stables
Thoroughbred Training Center in Ocala, Florida
Eddie Woods, a native of Meath, Ireland, has built an impressive 240-acre facility in Ocala, through hard work and a tremendous desire to produce quality horses.

 

Woods comes from a family of horsemen, his father being a former steeplechase jockey and later a trainer. "I was born in horses. It was my family's way of life," said Eddie.

He would follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a steeplechase jockey, and would face more than his fair share of obstacles in a highly competitive sport.

"As a steeplechase jockey you find yourself falling a lot, and I had reached an age, where you're not as resilient, and you don't recover from falls as easily. I decided to relocate to Ocala because I was in need of a job," said Eddie.

Woods has now been based in Central Florida for more than 15 years, and has increased his knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry working for fellow horsemen Tony and Joanne Everard. An ability to recognize and evaluate talent has enabled Woods to climb to the upper echelon of the consigning ranks. His knowledge, management and communication skills all have played a role in his success, and he deploys a pragmatic and disciplined approach while working toward a set of well-defined goals.


Eddie Woods Stables is a
Perennial Leading 2YO Consignor

 

"We'll buy horses, and from there we'll have an opportunity to gauge their ability, while they're going through our training program. We always try to buy stylish, quality horses," said Eddie.

Over the past seven years, Woods has made a number of impressive strides based on the sound, basic principles and applying common sense toward his business decisions. Woods doesn't point juveniles towards specific two-year-old sales. "We'll see how the horses are progressing, and from there will decide what sales to point towards. There's a lot of expense involved with going to the sales," said Eddie.

Woods unrelenting passion to be the best produced remarkable results as his program placed him among the leading consignors in 2000, as his consignments were responsible for producing the most graded stakes winners, purchased at two-year-old sales.

"We're very fortunate. That's probably our crowning moment," said Eddie.

Woods has trained and sold some of Thoroughbred racing’s biggest superstars in recent years. Perhaps the most notable is BIG BROWN, the brilliant 3-year-old of 2008 that captivated the racing world with dominant wins in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1). Campaigned by Paul Pompa and IEAH Stables, Big Brown also won the Florida Derby (G1) and Haskell Invitational (G1) en route to capturing 7-of-8 starts with earnings of over $3.6 million.

In 2009, Woods consigned a special offering at the Keeneland April 2-Year-Olds Sale, selling the first foal out of the legendary racemare Azeri for a sale-topping $1.9 million. The chestnut colt – named Take Control – is by A.P. Indy and was purchased by trainer Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah.

 

In 2002, Eddie Woods Stables was the leading consignor of Grade 1 Winners in North America. "I attribute a lot of my success to having great clients. We were not involved with buying a number of the horses we've sold. We've sold a number of horses that have been either bought or bred by our clients. We've been very fortunate that we were selected by them to sell their horses at public auction," said Eddie.

His approach and philosophy for training and preparing horses for the sales ring and the track have helped Woods establish a reputation for having the horses' best interest in mind.


"He does an outstanding job with a horse's early preparation.
He brings a horse along at the proper pace."
- Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott
"You can't make a horse run any faster than it's capable of running. The horse either has the ability, or it doesn't. The challenge is to keep the horses sound while they are training. You're always trying to get a horse ready to perform to its maximum potential. The horse should still be able to perform at that level when it reaches the track," said Eddie.

 

A number of horses that pass through the sales ring at public auction, don't possess the blazing speed associated with sprint races, and the higher prices paid at public auction. "Many quality horses are fast, but we've had a number of talented horses that haven't worked fast at the sales, but were meant for two turns."

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who conditioned the legendary Cigar, had high words of praise for Woods. "Eddie's started a number of horses for us, and he does an outstanding job with a horse's early preparation. He brings a horse along at the proper pace. He's done a outstanding job with the horses we've sent him over the years," said Mott.

The demands of the business can be difficult, and balancing one's personal and professional life can be a challenge."In this trade, you don't have much of a real life. There's no hardship in coming to work everyday. You have to be focused and balanced. Your goal is to be the best," said Eddie.


Woods moved into his new facility December 31, 2000, and the 240-acre operation has 36 paddocks, four barns, 140 plus stalls, a mile track, 7/8-mile turf course and multiple round pens.

 

"We moved everything to the new facility in one day. It's great to be able to come to your own place. You have an added interest when you're at your own facility," he said.

Woods had been based at Country and Bea Roberts Post Time Training Center, and previously at Classic Mile Training Center. "I never envisioned owning my own training facility. This is a dream come true," said Eddie. The training facility continues to take shape.

A proficient, professional staff has helped Woods in developing his horses. "I'm very fortunate. I've had the same core group of employees with me from the start. They know the ropes. They're a great crew," said Eddie.


Woods has also established a solid client base, and has a strong rapport with the owners he represents while conditioning their horses and representing them at the sales.

 

"Elmendorf Farm and Bobby Spalding were very helpful, when we first went out on our own, and when we were getting started. Joe Greeley and Bob Kelly gave me an opportunity to buy some quality horses," said Eddie.

Joe Greeley who owns Sabine Stable with his wife Winifred, also owned and raced Rob N' Gin, and Comeonmom before selling the horse to the Maktoum family and Godolphin racing. Both are graduates of the Eddie Woods training program.

A number of graded stakes winners have gone through the Eddie Woods training program or have been consigned by the Ocala-based sales agent, including Appealing Phylly, Halory Hunter, Comeonmom, Antespend, Left Bank, Rob N' Gin, Nijinsky's Passion, Windsor Castle, Colcon, Beckon The King, Ransom The Dreamer, Sir Cat and Idle Rich.

Most recently, the Woods training program has produced Breeders' Cup winners in 2008 and 2009. Maram captured the inaugural $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2008, and multiple Grade 1 winner Life Is Sweet was victorious in the $2 million Ladies' Classic in 2009.

Click Here to contact us for more information about the Eddie Woods Training Center, or call 352.489.8915.